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noz92

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About noz92

  • Rank
    Atom
  • Birthday 10/01/1992

Profile Information

  • Location
    Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    science, mathematics, philosophy, technology, literature
  • College Major/Degree
    Penn State/Astrophysics
  • Favorite Area of Science
    physics
  • Occupation
    student
  1. noz92

    What is "alive"?

    If you are trying to come up with a scientific definition of life, then it is all about science. If you are trying to come up with a philosophical definition of life, then it is all about philosophy. It can be assumed that we are trying to get a scientific definition of life, as this discussion is on a website called scienceforums.net.
  2. Something I've noticed is that most video game characters, having no personality and no intelligence other than a basic programed survival instinct, are very easy to kill from an emotional standpoint. I'm a pacifist who is opposed to any form of violence, recognizing that the person on the other end of the gun is a human too, and as such, that person has a life away from your gun, and has a personality just as I do, and so I have a problem with hurting, much less killing, him in any way. Realizing that a video game character does not die (if you restart the game, there he is with not even a scar from the last time you blew his brains out), and doesn't even have a personality or a life, he is much easier to kill. I have no problem killing a video game character, but even thinking about killing another human being sickens me. Unless that character is a major character in the game, and therefor has a personality, and clearly expresses a desire to live, I have no problem killing him (I actually do sometimes have a problem killing characters in role playing games, but I ultimately am able to when I realize that that character is not in any way sentient, nor will he disappear). Blaming video game violence on real world violence is somewhat naive, as I, and so I assume most others as well, do not see them as the same thing at all.
  3. If you are going to rehearse something like that, why not simply go to a shooting range, or something? That would certainly seem more useful to the shooter than a video game.
  4. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=babies-sex-linked-to-mothers-breakfast-calories&sc=DD_20080428 I just saw this article, which says that there may be a correlation between a mother's diet and the gender of her child. This seems strange--whatever happened to the father giving the baby an X- or a Y-chromosome?
  5. Well, I meant in general--not necessarily referring to "hostile aliens" (which I still doubt can exist, but will admit the possibility of), but any alien listening in. It would also seem somewhat uneconomic to send manned warships about the galaxy without having a particular destination, so I think they would, if they are smart (which, to have an interstellar empire, they would have to be) either send out probes or listen in on our communications (which is what I'm questioning--could an alien listen in on our communications?).
  6. How long would our radio transmitions remain distinguishable from noise when broadcast into space? I doubt the intensity of the wave would be detectable for more than a few light years (if even that far) away from Earth. If an alien can't detect our signals because we are too far away, I doubt that any aliens would even know we are here (unless there are some very close by).
  7. While I do not think any violent space faring civilizations exist, if they were, and if they were to invade, I doubt that you would be able to adequately fight them anymore than all the animals in a forest would be able to adequately fight us with our bulldozers capable of totally demolishing their home.
  8. That's true, but I wonder if the idea of shooting someone is the same as actually seeing someone shot. I also wonder if controlling the character in a video game has the same effect as watching it happen (such as in a movie)?
  9. I tend to think of violent video games as the modern version of "Cowboys and Indians", or "Cops and Robbers", where children actually pretend to shoot each other. Who's to say that shooting your best friend with a pretend gun would not callus you to the idea of shooting your best friend (or anyone else, for that matter) with a real gun? Of course, there are obvious differences (such as "Cops and Robbers" doesn't actually make "cops" or "robbers" drown in their own blood--assuming you're playing it right), but the idea of shooting someone remains.
  10. I think that a race capable of building spacecraft capable of traveling the light years to reach Earth would not have achieved that level of technological advancement without being able to work with each other to learn how to build these, not to mention the prospect of spending the years, or, in most cases, generations in the vast emptiness of space together (with the same people for your entire lives) without killing each other before they reach Earth. They would almost have to be peaceful in order to us to find them.
  11. Maybe any correlation between violence and video games is not on how violent it is, but rather on how difficult it is (and how good at the game the player is). Obviously a game is much more stressful when you're not doing well, and the people most affected by this stress are the people who are probably most attracted to violent media (for the same reason that stressed people are attracted to "stress balls" and punching bags--it helps to relieve some of the violent feelings you have to actually do it).
  12. noz92

    What is "alive"?

    That would fall under the common requirement "response to stimuli".
  13. I don't think that any would venture too far away from their home planet without need to specifically do so. Traveling on the interstellar scale is far too slow to have any practical application, assuming there is absolutely no way to travel faster than the speed of light (e.g. wormholes, Alcubierre drive, etc.), as not only would the travel time be too great, but communication between colonies would be almost impossible (imagine trying to communicate with a colony around Proxima Centauri--it would be three to four years before your message is even received, and twice that before you hear a response), so they probably would not want to spread too far out. For aliens to colonize Earth, they would have to be in the right place (the ideal distance) at the right time (assuming they don't want to interfere with our development) and in the right situation (i.e. the need to expand, such as overpopulation or suddenly unfavorable conditions on their home planet), and they would have to develop on a planet with similar conditions to Earth at the time (how much would an alien want Earth a billion years ago? Would it be able to support them? Would it be easily terraformed to fit their life? etc.). If these conditions are not all met, they would probably just send out unmanned probes (assuming, again, that they even have an interest in Earth) to do their exploring for them, and leave the colonization closer to home (they can't be that close to us, or we would probably have detected some trace of them, such as radio signals).
  14. While I have no doubt that life is a common occurrence in the universe, sapient, intelligent life may be much less common (after all, as far as we know, it only developed once on Earth), the distances between inhabited worlds may be much too large to cross at any acheivable speed, especially without actualy having a truly practicle and immediately beneficial reason, and so it's very probable that our existence is not known, and that is the reason we haven't been contacted (although I'm sure many species would follow a sort of "Prime Directive", and I stick with the pacafism argument).
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